Look, I’m tired of people making it sound like happiness and mental health are some kind of remarkable achievement that only few can attain. That’s ridiculous and if anyone’s saying it then they really don’t know how to lead anyone to peace. Because we have to break this myth that this is difficult or that it requires intense study or time or dedication. It only requires one thing: awareness.
Ready? This is the whole thing: Your feelings are a feedback system to let you know the temperature of your thinking. If you don’t like the feeling, change the thought. Wanting thoughts feel bad and appreciative thoughts feel good. Period. That’s it. What you experience as “your life” is really your thoughts about life. “You” is really a thought filter that stops this thought but allows that one. The things that are allowed through are what informs all of your decisions. It’s changeable and yet thoroughly you.
If you’re not enjoying your day and you’re blaming other people, your job, your luck, your timing or the weather, then you’re abdicating control over your own life experience. You will live the life you unconsciously trained for, meaning you are likely to become little more than an economic slave. However, if you wake up to how experiences are created, you can seize control over the incredible flexibility you have over your life. And that sense of confidence will in turn lead you to bolder and more exciting choices, which will in turn lead to a more exciting and interesting life.
Stop allowing your initial, habitual, unconscious, trained thinking to lead your life. That’s crazy. Get conscious. Decide how to feel about things. Decide who to vote for and decide who to date. Don’t let other people dictate a life to you just so you can get some hollow approval. Your life isn’t about conforming to other people’s demands, your life is for you. It is an opportunity. Move toward what feels right for you.
Sometimes crying feels good. Sometimes being angry feels good. Laughing and having fun always feel good. And it turns out that, when you have a lot of control over what you think and therefore how you feel, you do pick a lot more happiness. But you also don’t mind choosing other feelings. Because once you’re free, you realize that a lot of the entertainment you enjoy hinges on those same feelings that you so often refer to as negative or unwanted. In reality all feelings are equal, and once we are living with the understanding that our thoughts are what value a thing or experience, then we’re comfortable no matter what’s going on.
Don’t make life a big deal. If you feel crappy, ask yourself what you’re thinking about. If it’s not relative to that exact present moment then drop it. Focus on the moment you are in and choose your next course of thought based on the guidance of your feelings. There are always things to be grateful for. It’s only a matter of your level of dedication toward trying to find those things.
You live moment by moment and each new moment is a chance to choose how you see it. Remember that choice and as often as possible see your own time on this Earth as a wonderful opportunity to interact with a remarkable and beautiful world, of which you are an integral part. Live like that’s true because it is. And have an awesome day.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.